The Sixth Court of Appeal of Kyiv refused the 112 Ukraine TV channel to satisfy their court appeal. This may leave the audience without the possibility to watch the TV channel, Vasyl Smetana, the lawyer of the 112 Ukraine TV channel said.
"The decision comes into force, of course, we will use all legal means to protect us, but the decision will, let’s say, act in the way it was meant to act by the regulator, i.e., the issue of renewal of a license will be considered and it will be refused. All viewers, who watch 112 Ukraine TV channel on T2 national digital TV-network, and this is a pretty big coverage, everyone who receives a signal from the antenna will lose this opportunity to watch 112 Ukraine," the lawyer explained.
He also noted that the issue of depriving the TV-channel of a license will be considered by the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, and the regulator will most likely refuse 112 Ukraine to renew the license.
"From this day, this decision (the decision of the Court of Appeal, - ed.) comes into force, and we expect the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting to consider the issue of extending the license for 112 Ukraine TV channel in the near future, and I am convinced that the predictable decision on the refusal to renew these licenses will be made by the regulating body. The issue will be considered at the next meeting of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting. It can happen this Thursday or the next Thursday, or the next week, for example. This means that the court’s decision enables the National Council to refuse to renew the license for the TV channel, and if a decision is made to refuse the extension, the license expires that very day," Smetana emphasized.
Vasily Smetana also commented on the information that the judges were pressured and they had already received instructions regarding the case of the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
"There were several publications regarding the fact that judges were called to the President’s Office and so on. There is information, even Igor Guzhva (editor-in-chief of the Strana.ua website, ed.) Wrote on his Facebook page that he knew the plan. The media have their own sources, and I think that today's decision proves this out," he added.
We also note that the mass media found out about the contacts of judges, considering the case of the licenses of the 112 Ukraine TV channel, with the Office of the President of Ukraine. As you know, the Office of the President of Ukraine is headed by the lawyer Andriy Bohdan called "a protege of the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky" (Ukrainian oligarch tied to the President Volodymyr Zelensky, - ed.) by journalists and experts. The direct pressure on the judges from the Office of the President of Ukraine may result in the termination of digital broadcasting of the 112 Ukraine TV-channel, followed by the termination of satellite broadcasting and the disappearance of the channel from cable networks. The process of depriving the TV-channel of their broadcasting licenses was launched by the previous president Petro Poroshenko.
Earlier, the channel’s office was threatened with picketing by national radical groups, and the building of the channel was shelled from a grenade launcher then. There was no reaction from the authorities to these crimes.